Are you looking for some extra income? It seems like side hustles are everywhere these days, but how do you choose a good one? My basic criteria for a side hustle must be a legitimate venture that isn’t illegal, must pay well and must be easy to get into. It should also take advantage of skills, interests and equipment that you already have. Where do you find a gig like that?
Word of warning – most side hustles aren’t that lucrative when you’re first starting out. If you need money this week for an unexpected expense, becoming a virtual assistant or Uber driver-partner likely won’t do much for you in the short term. However, if you choose well and stick with it, there are lots of side hustles out there that can earn you real money. Some can even lead to full-time careers.
Best Side Hustles you can Start Today
If you’re a native speaker, freelance writing is one of the easiest ways to immediately start earning some money on the side. Contrary to belief, you don’t need to be a Pulitzer winning author to get into freelance writing. Blogs and web sites have an insatiable appetite for content of all levels. Obviously the better and more specialized you are at writing, the higher the rates you can demand, but if you are a native English speaker, you CAN earn money writing online.
Depending on your level of writing, you can get paid to rewrite old articles, ghost-write blogs, or even sell your own articles to various online publications. At the shallow end, this isn’t a very lucrative field, but the opportunity is there to work your way up.
Freelance writing is also a good choice if you live abroad and want to fund your travels or supplement your income.
Start Your Own Blog
Instead of writing for other people, a much more lucrative (and rewarding) variation of the writing gig is to start a blog. You’ve probably read many amazing success stories of blogging already, and there’s a reason why you keep reading about them. Blogging has transformed the lives of countless single or working moms, including our own. The best part of it is, there’s NO reason why you can’t do the same. All you need is passion for a certain niche, and the ability to share that passion through writing. Choose a niche that has a sizable audience, and come up with engaging, useful content on related topics you love.
Think of blogging as a long term project- the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be rewarded with passive income over time. There are infinite ways to make money from a blog, from advertising, affiliate marketing, to creating your own ebook or digital product to sell.
For us, Best of Budgets generates a consistent $600 to $700 a month these days, all with very little day to day work. MaxBounty, PeerFly, and other affiliate networks are the main drivers of our income, by promoting paid surveys, student refinancing programs, and other relevant offers when it actually helps our readers.
Airbnb makes it simple to earn extra money by putting your extra space to work for you. You can share a spare room in your apartment, host your whole home the next time you’re out of town, or create a listing for a vacation house, if you have one. However you choose to host, Airbnb offers support that makes jumping into entrepreneurship unintimidating. The online process to create a listing is pretty quick and easy—you write descriptions of your space, upload photos, and mark dates your space is available to travelers. And it’s always free to create a listing.
If you’ve got a reliable car and you love meeting people, partnering with a ride-hailing service such as Uber or Lyft may be just what you need. Some people even do this full time, but for most drivers it’s probably better to treat it as supplemental income. If you can drive during the peak hours, you will earn a higher rate per ride.
Driving may not pay much more than conventional part-time jobs, but you have the freedom to make your own schedule and drive as much or as little as you want in a given week. And if you’re an extrovert, the best rewards of driving may actually be the new people you meet and stories you hear on a daily basis.
Offering rides isn’t the only way to make money off your car. You can also side-hustle as a delivery driver. Some companies hire drivers to deliver for restaurants, while others focus on package delivery. Depending on the job, you may even be able to use a bike if you don’t have a car.
You can book blocks of time that work with your schedule. Just be aware that certain times of day are much more lucrative than others, especially if you’re delivering meals. But on average you can make between $18 to $25 making deliveries. Check out Amazon Flex for parcel delivery, and Door Dash for meal delivery.
Best Delivery Driving Jobs:
If you’ve got good typing skills, you can actually make a decent amount of money on the side as a transcriptionist. Unlike with freelance writing, there is usually very little research or complex thinking involved in transcriping. This makes it a less stressful side hustle choice if you’ve got a demanding main job.
You can maximize your earnings as a transcriptionist, by ensuring you have the proper transcription software and foot pedal.
Virtual Assistant (VA)
This is a good choice if you’ve got great organizational skills and want to work from home. A VA may provide almost any of the services that an administrative assistant offers, such as email correspondence, bookkeeping and transcription. Some virtual assistants specialize in online services like maintaining their clients’ social media presence and moderating blog comments.
You can get started on a number of sites, including Upwork and Fancy Hands. If you’ve already got experience in administrative work, Time etc is a good choice.
Customer Service Representative
This gig involves assisting customers with complaints and problems, answering questions, and providing general information about products. With a job like this, you’ll probably need to work a set shift. Though the hours may not be as flexible as some other side hustles, you can do this job from anywhere that has a good Internet connection.
To get started, try looking on the job boards of specific companies, or head over to Working Solutions.
Teaching English Online
Teaching English online offers any native English speaker the ability to earn a decent hourly wage ($10 to $70) in the comfort of his/her own home. Not every ESL job requires you to have a college diploma either.
There are many ESL Teaching Platforms online for you to quickly set up your virtual classroom. All you need is a computer, decent internet connection, and a quality web cam.
As a former ESL teacher, I can tell you how incredibly fulfilling it can be teaching languages to students that are really eager to learn, and appreciate you for the work you do.
Why not turn your creative hobby into extra money? If your friends are raving about your hand-made jewelry or embroidered bags, look into selling some of your handiwork on a site like Etsy.
There’s a lot of competition, so aim for a balance between catering to trends and offering something unique. You’ll also need to promote your product with good photography and by sharing on social media.
If you’ve got a good camera and you know how to use it, you can make some extra money selling microstock photos. Microstock companies charge users a small amount to download photos. The idea is that you sell the same image many times for a couple of dollars, rather than once for a hundred dollars.
As beautiful as your landscape shots might be, you’ll get better results with photos that customers can use on their commercial websites. Try taking some behind-the-scenes shots of a restaurant or other business.
Custom T-shirt Design
Here’s another one for the artists. Some online sites let you upload a design so you can print and sell custom T-shirts and other merchandise on-demand. This means that there’s no risk of printing more than you can sell and being stuck with the cost.
Custom T-shirt designs can be a stand-alone gig, but they can also be an effective way to generate more income from a successful blog or online business. Check out Threadless, Cafepress, or Zazzle to see how it works.
Last But Not Least…Paid Surveys
And finally, if you’re looking to make a couple of bucks while sitting on the couch, paid surveys are your ticket. You won’t get rich doing surveys, but I’ve managed to make enough to pay off household bills and holiday expenses just by sharing my opinions online.
Why wait? Whatever your skill set or passion, chances are good that you can start turning it into some extra income today.